Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Lord Advocate forced to wait for Super Puma black box decision

The Super Puma went down in the North Sea off Sumburgh airport on Shetland in 2013
The Super Puma went down in the North Sea off Sumburgh airport on Shetland in 2013

Scotland’s top law officer will have to wait until the end of the year to find out if prosecutors can get early access to the black box from a doomed helicopter.

Four oil workers died when the Super Puma AS332-L2 aircraft plunged into the sea off Shetland in August 2013.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland launched a legal challenge at the Court of Session earlier this year to try to speed-up an investigation into the tragedy.

He asked for the cockpit data recorder – which is being held by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch – to be released before the conclusion of the official probe.

Judge Lord Jones granted the release of the black box, but he British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) appealed against the decision, claiming it could affect the outcome of the probe.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland

BALPA general secretary, Jim McAuslan, said the “open safety culture” built up over the years would be threatened if data was used to assign blame before the investigation was completed.

It emerged yesterday that BALPA’s legal challenge will be heard on December 1 – putting the Lord Advocate’s investigation in limbo for another four months.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “Following a helicopter crash off Sumburgh on August, 23, 2013, in which four people died, the Crown Office began an investigation into the cause of the deaths.

“The Crown has a duty to investigate all sudden, suspicious and unexplained deaths.

“The investigation is ongoing and the families of those who died will continue to be updated in relation to any significant developments.”

The Super Puma lost speed short of the runway at Sumburgh Airport and crashed into the water.

It had 16 offshore workers and two crew on board.

The Eurocopter aircraft had collected passengers from the Dunbar platform, the Borgsten Dolphin rig and the Alwyn North platform before heading to refuel at Sumburgh.

Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, George Allison, 57, from Winchester and Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness, all died in the accident.

Rescuers found the stricken aircraft upside down in the water with the passengers and crew scattered around it in the icy waters.

It was the fifth major incident involving North Sea helicopters in the space of five years.

Relatives of 16 men killed when a another Super Puma crashed off the Aberdeenshire coast on April 1, 2009, had to wait five years before a fatal accident inquiry was held.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]